1860 – William Cabell Bruce, U.S. Senator, author of books on historical topics, and Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer of Benjamin Franklin.
1894 – Yoshiki Hayama, Japanese novelist of proletarian literature; he spent time in jail due to his involvement with the labor movement, but later turned away from Marxism and became an enthusiastic supporter of Japanese imperialism.
1922 – Jack Kerouac, American/French-Canadian novelist and poet who was one of the pioneers of the Beat Generation.
1925 – Harry Harrison, American science-fiction author whose novel Make Room! Make Room! was the basis for the film Soylent Green.
1928 – Edward Albee, influential American playwright, screenwriter, author, university teacher, and theater director who won three Pulitzer Prizes and two Tony Awards; his works reflect a mastery and Americanization of the Theatre of the Absurd, and explore the psychology of maturing, marriage, and sexual relationships.
1934 – Virginia Hamilton, Newbery Award-winning African-American children’s book author, recognized for her contributions to multicultural literature for youth.
1948 – Sandra Brown, American bestselling author of romance and thrillers.
1952 – Naomi Shihab Nye, Palestinian-American poet, songwriter, and novelist.
1953 – Carl Hiaasen, American journalist and author of humorous crime fiction and young-adult novels; much of his fiction takes place in Florida and explores environmental themes and political corruption.
1956 – Ruth Ozeki, Canadian-American novelist, filmmaker, and Zen Buddhist priest.
1970 – Dave Eggers, American novelist, memoirist, nonfiction writer, short-story writer, children’s author, editor, publisher, and philanthropist, best known for his memoir A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius; Utne Reader has named him one of “50 Visionaries Who Are Changing the World.”